Tata Motors reported a 5% decline in its commercial vehicle sales in India for the month of February, while passenger vehicle sales were up 2% for the month.
More worryingly, most of the loss in volume were in high-value items, such as medium and heavy trucks (down 18%) and commercial passenger vehicles (also down 18%).
Overall, total India sales were down 3% on year due to what the company called ‘weak consumer sentiments’.
“The market continues to exhibit subdued demand sentiments on the back of slowing economic activity, high interest rates, lag effect of implementation of revised axle load norms, slowing industrial output and declining IIP growth index,” Tata Motors said.
COMMERCIAL VEHICLES – HEAVY
The M&HCV truck sales fell by 2,804 to 12,437 units “due to low demand as a result of the revised axle load norms.
“Post the axle load norms implementation, the freight carrying capacity of MHCV parc has increased by 20%, but the freight growth has not been able to absorb this increased capacity resulting in lower demand for new trucks,” Tata Motors said.
Tipper segment on the other hand continued to witness a strong growth of 22% on the back of road construction, irrigation and affordable housing projects, it added.
COMMERCIAL VEHICLES – MEDIUM
The intermediate and light truck segment recorded a growth of 4%, or 207 units, with 5,017 units sold in February 2019.
“This segment has not been much affected by the increased axle load norms,” it said.
It said its new products introductions in the fast growing 15T-16T segment have been well accepted by the customer.
“The demand in I&LCV segment has been led by the e-commerce sector, increased rural consumption, supported by new product introductions.”
COMMERCIAL VEHICLES – PICK-UPS
The SCV Cargo and Pickup segment bounced back in February 2019, recording a growth of 9% at 17,417 units sold this month.
“The evolving hub-spoke model, demand for the last mile connectivity across the rural and urban markets, and Swachch Bharat initiatives have led to increase in demand in this segment,” the auto maker said.
COMMERCIAL VEHICLES – PASSENGER
The commercial passenger carrier segment recorded sales of 4,240 units, a decline of 917 or 18% from last year.
“This segment has been impacted due to the slowdown in the procurement of buses by state transport units and the permits for private hiring. However, in the light commercial passenger carrier segment, the order book for Winger ambulances is strong at 3000 units and the introduction of the new 15-seater Winger has witnessed good traction,” the company said.
Domestic sales of passenger vehicles were up 2%, or 339 units, at 18,110 units.
The company attributed the growth to “good demand for its new generation vehicles” such as the newly introduced SUV Harrier.
“The Harrier has received a good response in the market and the company is expecting increase in volumes in the coming months as the production ramps up,” it said.
Passenger vehicle numbers are up 15% so far this year.
The company’s sales from exports (from CV and PV) in February 2019 was at 2,930 units, lower by 39% over last year, due to, congestion at Bangladesh border, new regulations and political uncertainty in Sri Lanka and slump in Middle East automotive market.
Taking all commercial and passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market, the company saw a drop of 3% at 57,221 units as against 58,993 units last year.
Total commercial vehicle sales in the domestic market fell 5% in February to 39,111 units.